Nature can survive without mankind but mankind’s survival is bound to nature. The importance of the land cannot be overstated. Our fields and woods provide food, fiber, habitat for wildlife and a sense of place for the humans that inhabit this landscape. The open farm vistas in Kent County have a strong identity and character that is deeply felt by local residents and visitors alike. Many people relate that they feel their anxiety and stress leave them as they drive over the scenic Chester and Sassafras Rivers and enter Kent County.
KCPA’s mission is to conserve and preserve our cultural landscape which includes natural, historic, cultural and agricultural resources. According to Webster’s dictionary, conserve means to protect from loss or deletion while preserve means to keep safe as from injury or peril. Conservation is understood as wise use and implies sustainability for long life and renewal of resources. Traditionally, preservation refers to providing greater permanence of historic resources or agricultural land while historic preservation, also known as heritage conservation, is a broader term that recognizes such intangible resources as community traditions, memories, physical structures and objects.
The flat, open expanses of fertile soil and the rich history of the land that define our county are gifts of immeasurable value. However, these vast expanses are imperiled. In 1997, the American Farmland Trust identified this area as the ninth most threatened agricultural region in the country. KCPA is dedicated to the conservation of our agricultural base, an asset that can never be replaced. We are committed to the preservation of our historic and cultural landscape which has remained substantially intact due to the stewardship and vision of generations of Kent County citizens.
“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope.” Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays